Stressing, running around and pure chaos in the working groups; those are characteristics of Startup Weekend Utrecht 2017. But what is Startup Weekend? Startup Weekend is a pressure cooker in which new entrepreneurs have to validate and realize a concept. Startup Weekend is a format of Techstars (Google company) and is organized in more than 150 countries to stimulate entrepreneurship. Last week was the day and the Startup Weekend organized by Coffee IT took place in Utrecht. The event was completely sold out and there were 120 participants in total.

The start

The weekend started on Friday with a round in which anyone who had a concept could present it in one minute. Then everyone was given the opportunity to cast three votes on concepts they liked best. The top 14 concepts advanced to the next round: forming the teams. Each of the 14 concepts was given the opportunity to indicate who they were and what kind of people they were looking for.

Saturday was the day of hard work. Each group received substantive feedback on their concept and the validation of mentors in the afternoon. Saturday's goal was to determine what could be achieved over the weekend and whether the problem posed is actually a problem for the target group. Most working groups therefore actually go out on Saturday to approach their target group and see how enthusiastic the target group is about their concept.

On Sunday, all concepts were finalized and the teams received pitch training from TedX pitch coach Dave Beckett. In the evening, each team had the opportunity to present to the jury. The jury then announced the top three and awarded the fantastic prizes. We concluded with live music from Pandazz and a networking drink.

Who won?

The winning concept has become… Impact Zero! Impact Zero's goal is simple: to reduce humanity's environmental footprint. They do this by giving everyone who places a webshop order the opportunity to have their ecological footprint compensated by means of a donation. In this way, humanity has zero impact.

impact zero winner startup weekend utrecht-2017

What can we expect from the winners?

All participants, not just the winners, have a chance of a successful concept. On average, two concepts eventually become a success. Last year's winner was still at TedX Utrecht last year and will give a Ted talk this year about proof of identity in the blockchain. Of course, the weekend is also successful if you have made interesting contacts or found a co-founder.

Why did we organize it and what did we think of it?

Many of our clients are startups with an investment and an innovative idea. We think it's great to be creative and innovative and therefore decided to give something back to the Startup community. That is why we organized this non-profit event. We are very pleased with the result and the Startup Weekend was a great success. The average cost of 70 euros per ticket posed a challenge in itself, because the weekend is fully all inclusive. Fortunately, by attracting sponsors and finding a flexible and cool location, everything turned out well.

organizing team startup weekend utecht

Closing comments

Startup Weekend was a great success, but we would like to hand over the baton to the next organization, so we are still looking for that. We also want to thank all participants, the mentors, the judges, the photographer, the Social Impact Factory, the volunteers and the facilitator for the great weekend!